Layout Image

Archive for May 2015

I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT at the Skylight Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

One way to tackle your demons is to write a book about them. Another way is to condense your recollections into a solo performance piece that resembles a standup comedy routine. Annabelle Gurwitch has done both. Read more…

Now running through June 7.

ALMOST PERFECT at the Santa Monica Playhouse

Photo by Cynde Moore

Photo by Cynde Moore

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

Director Chris DeCarlo’s staging of the 29th anniversary production of playwright Jerry Mayer’s play about marriage and temptation inevitably shows its age — and not just because the work’s sitcom structure and conveniently pat situations lack the ambiguity of turn of Millennial modern romcoms.  Read more…

Now running through June 28.

THE GLASS MENAGERIE at Greenway Court

Photo by Alfred Collar

Photo by Alfred Collar

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

This play, which provided Tennessee Williams with the first great success in his spectacular but ultimately blighted career, is astonishingly rich, simple, and forthright. That it requires only four actors and a single set has deluded many actors and directors to think it is an easy play to do. But it requires a delicate touch, and a particularly gifted director and cast to release its magic.  Read more…

Now running through June 14.

ENRON at the Lex Theatre

Photo by Joanna Strapp

Photo by Joanna Strapp

 Bob Verini – Stage Raw

Most people’s command of international finance and investment, I think it’s fair to say, probably cuts not much deeper than the “Money makes the world go around” lyrics from Cabaret. Yet in telling the sorry true-life saga of the titular Houston energy giant and its catastrophic demise, Lucy Prebble’s Enron coolly takes for granted our ability to take in, not just the gist of what went down in October 2001, but its intricate details as well.  Read more…

Steven Leigh Morris  – LA Weekly

Near the conclusion of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, a docudrama animated with puppets and choreography about the fabled demise of the $111 billion Houston energy trading company (trumpeted by Forbes for six consecutive years as a model of corporate ingenuity), the firm’s now-convicted president, Jeffrey Skilling (Skip Pipo), defiantly rationalizes his actions. Read more…

Les Spindle –  Frontiers L.A.

Life is somewhat of a cabaret as well as a smoking cauldron of corporate greed and fiscal catastrophe in Lucy Prebble’s sardonic 2010 British play, now in its L.A. premiere.  Read more…

Jonas Schwartz -  Arts In LA

The political satire Enron spells out how one of the largest energy companies in the world toppled in 2001 due to accounting fraud. Employing musical comedy techniques and puppets, writer Lucy Prebble and director August Viverito mix a spoonful of sugar into repulsive subject matter. Read more…

 Now running through June 28.

THE HOUSE OF YES at the Zephyr Theatre

Photo by Ed Krieger

Photo by Ed Krieger

David C. Nichols – LA Times

Family dysfunction, that age-old staple of the dramatic canon, permeates the walking wounded that populate “The House of Yes” in a respectable, albeit still-gelling 25th anniversary revival at the Zephyr. Read more…

Now running through June 14.

Fixing Words That Go Clunk in the Night

master-master675Bob Verini – Stage Raw

John Logan’s Red has been one of the most produced plays of the last few years, with over 40 mountings at major theaters coast to coast, usually reviewed in deserved superlatives. Yet in all the column inches devoted to the incisive two-hander, few if any of my critical colleagues have made reference to Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder, though they certainly could and maybe should have done. Read more…

ANDRE AND DORINE at the Los Angeles Theatre Center

andr_y_doriney_copy_2

Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

It’s hard to imagine a more tender, more lyrical or more captivating work than this three-person piece from Kulunka Teatro, a company originating from Spain’s Basque Country. Read more…

Now running through June 7.

SAMSARA – Chance Theater at the Bette Aitken Theater Arts Center

la-et-cm-theater-review-samsara-at-chance-thea-001

Doug Catiller / True Image Studio)

Margaret Gray – LA Times

When women have babies, expectations are born at the same time –  dream children, made up of assumptions and hopes, that grow up alongside the real ones. Read more…

Now running through May 31.

BIG SHOT: a.k.a. This is Not The Godfather at the Bootleg Theatre

BIG_SHOT_-_Paula_Rebelo-Mark_Doerr-Jesse_Myers-David_Guerra-Caitlyn_Conlin-Mark_Skeens_photo_by_Shanon_Rodriguez

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Despite its subtitle, The Godfather is the inspiration for Theatre Movement Bazaar’s latest creation. Their show is billed as a theatrical collage, an appropriate description for a somewhat scattershot piece that features chunks of perceptive writing by Richard Alger and several highly watchable performances but doesn’t quite come together with the vision or inventiveness of some of their prior work. Read more…

Now running through June 6.

NOT THAT JEWISH at The Braid

Photo by Patrick Conde

Photo by Patrick Conde

Bob Verini -   Arts In LA

In Not That Jewish we encounter something distinctly unexpected: a first-person memoir by a former standup comic that actually feels like a real play. Read more…

Paul Birchall  – Stage Raw

If you like your humor with a Kosher sensibility, Monica Piper’s delightful, if lightweight solo show is far more glatt than trafe – though the performer’s monologue may possibly be more palatable if you arrive at the start with a predilection for gags of the Catskills-and-Borscht Belt variety. Read more…

Now running through May 31.

ROW AFTER ROW at the Atwater Village Theatre

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Photo by Darrett Sanders

Neal Weaver  – Stage Raw

Playwright Jessica Dickey sets her comedy in the odd and largely unfamiliar world of Civil War Re-enactors, who have spent their day staging a recreation of Pickett’s Charge, which shifted the tides of war during the Battle of Gettysburg. em>Read more…

Now running through

VIOLET at the Monroe Forum Theatre

Violet

Photo Courtesy Kelrik Productions

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Violet, which premiered on Broadway in 1997, is the kind of musical play that should speak powerfully to anyone who’s ever been scapegoated, or been on the outside looking in.  But for a number of reasons it isn’t nearly as emotionally compelling as one might expect. em>Read more…

Now running through May 30.